Here is another little slice of my life, which i'd like to note down for future reference.
One of the interesting things about being stuck in legit 14-day quarantine (not allowed any human contact, not allowed out of my hotel room) has been trying to figure out how to buy exactly enough food so that i can still leave with a pack on my back.
Here is my two-week quarantine menu, which i ordered in two Instacart batches.
3 large tomato
1 large bag baby bok choy
1 large bag gai lan
1 large bag bok choy
1 bag mini carrot
1 bag mini cucumber
2 dragon fruit
3x 300g pack soft tofu
1x 300g pack dried tofu
1x 450g pack vege hotdog
1x 400g bag red skin peanut
1x 500g creamy peanut butter
1x 750g natural peanut butter
1 can baked bean
1x 1kg noodle
2x 150g saltine
1x 450g saltine
1 bag bagel
1x 900mL peanut oil
1 huge ginger root
9 garlic bulb
1 bunch spring onion
1 jar Lao Gan Ma black bean chili sauce
1 jar fish free kimchi
I also had a 500g bag of coffee left over from China which is now gone.
In total this was around $100 and i have finished it almost exactly.
Most of it could have been stored without a refrigerator. Maybe just the kimchi and tofu really needs one. So if i am in a place without a refrigerator i could make do. But i definitely would need a way to boil water (for noodles and coffee) and a way to cut and fry up the other ingredients. If i end up living in a motel for a while, i might need to buy a camping stove, knife and small pan.
I definitely need to buy chopsticks. Cooking and eating without them is incredibly inconvenient once you're used to it.
The tricky part of shopping like this is that i couldn't pick anything out myself, and i needed to make sure to finish everything i received before i left. As it turned out, i still have half a bottle of oil and 3 garlic bulbs, which i will leave here for housekeeping. Not a bad estimate, i think!
The dependency on kimchi and Lao Gan Ma to add flavor is something that i might not have done if i had been able to find fresh chilis and limes for heat and acid. In long-term accommodation i would also use condiments like soy sauce and vinegar, but i didn't think i would be able to finish those things off in two weeks.
I am thinking about what sorts of ingredients might pack a lot of flavor punch but still come in small enough containers that they wouldn't be wasted in short-term accommodation. Maybe dried shiitake? In China you can get a lot of spices from the market so it's easy to buy a very small bag, but from what i recall most spices come pre-packaged in Canadian supermarkets, which means cumin, sumac, fennel seed and so on is not viable for a short stay.
One thing i would change next time is buying more fruit. I don't really like apples, but they are hardy and cheap in Canada so probably my best bet.
Of course, i have also ordered in a couple meals, but less than i did back in China considering how expensive it is here. I have gotten two $20 Beyond Burger meals, which i specifically ordered because the restaurant also delivered alcohol ($12 6-pack). Tonight i will order in something cheaper, without alcohol.
Tomorrow i will be up at the crack of sparrow's to go to the bank. I must get a new debit card and credit card before doing anything else. Once that's sorted, i'm heading into downtown Vancouver for a few days to try wash my brain out from this sad suburban quarantine.